Pinecrest Bible Training Center

John 12:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone.

Beginning in 2008 the vision and bible school that God so graciously gave Wade Taylor beginning in 1968 came to an abrupt end, falling into the ground and dying.

We now wait for God to raise up and bring forth His seed of promise in another, that the vision fail not.

Summer 1995
The Process of Spiritual Growth
Wade E Taylor

When Jesus spoke to His disciples, He often used expressions that were familiar to them.

"Now as He walked by the sea of Galilee, He saw
Simon and Andrew his brother casting a net into
the sea: for they were fishers. And Jesus said
unto them, Come ye after Me, and I will make you
to become fishers of men. And straightway they
forsook their nets, and followed Him" Mark 1:16-18.

Jesus had said, "You will continue to fish, but I have called you to a higher vocation. Rather than fishing for fish, you will fish for men." Simon and Andrew were about to be lifted from one dimension of their life experience into a higher calling and purpose.

It may be that we fail to recognize the voice of the Lord because we expect Him to speak to us with a King James vocabulary. It is important that we listen for His voice in the everyday circumstances of our lives.

For example, many years ago, when a heavy rain began to fall, a farmer went into a shed to wait out the storm. As he looked out at the rows of corn, the Lord quickened him to consider the nature of corn and his understanding was opened regarding the spiritual message it portrays.

The farmer's thoughts then turned to the parable of the sower concerning seed that is sown into different types of soil (Matt 13:3-23). A detailed comparison between this passage of Scripture and the corn in his field formed within him; and a ministry was birthed with five messages about corn which portrayed the path to spiritual maturity. He spent his remaining years ministering this one message with outstanding results.

One observation about corn is that it is golden in color. Gold speaks of the "divine nature" that is within the redeemed earthen vessels that we are.

"I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire,
that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that
thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy
nakedness do not appear" Rev 3:18a.

When we confess our sin and accept the cleansing power of the blood of Jesus, we are "justified" and declared to be righteous. Through redemption and Holy Spirit regeneration, we become a new creation and receive a new nature.

"Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious
promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the
divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in
the world through lust" 2 Peter 1:4.

"Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature:
old things are passed away; behold, all things are
become new" 2 Cor 5:17.

Beginning as a spiritual baby, we are to grow into spiritual maturity. Salvation is a free gift, but spiritual maturity must be attained. We are not to remain as naked new-born spiritual babies, but we are to grow into spiritual adulthood.

"As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of
the Word, that ye may grow thereby" I Peter 2:3.

Jesus compared this "divine nature" to a seed being sown into fertile soil,

"But he that received seed into the good ground is
he that heareth the Word, and understandeth it;
which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some
an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty" Matt 13:23.

Just as this treasure of His Divine nature is hidden within our earthen vessels, golden corn is hidden within a covering, with a tassel of hair on top. There is a distinct gradation in ears of corn. That is, not all ears of corn come to the same level of growth, or maturity. Likewise, our spiritual growth as a Christian follows a progressive development with comparable results.

"Behold, a sower went forth to sow" Matt 13:3b.

The intention of the sower is to reap an abundant harvest from the seed that has been sown. The condition of the soil has much to do with this harvest.

"And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side,
and the fowls came and devoured them up: Some fell
upon stony places, where they had not much earth:
and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no
deepness of earth: And when the sun was up, they
were scorched; and because they had no root, they
withered away. And some fell among thorns; and the
thorns sprung up, and choked them."

But other fell into good ground, and brought forth
fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some
thirtyfold" Matt 13:4-8.

The seed that fell on the surface of this hardened soil (wayside) was eaten by the birds. Some had sprung up and withered because it was unable to take root (stony places). Other seed began to grow but was choked (thorns). From these, there was no harvest. But the seed that fell into fertile soil produced a harvest that was either thirty, sixty, or one-hundred fold in its increase.

So also, the Lord "sows" His Divine nature within the babe in Christ, intending it to develop into full maturity. He uses this parable to teach us that the rate of our spiritual growth is conditional rather than fixed. Therefore, our spiritual growth will be greatly hindered when the "soil of our heart" has not been properly prepared.

Thus, the seed of the Kingdom may fall on the "wayside" (any spiritual indifference with which we have not dealt), or in the "stony places" (the carnality we permit in our life experience); or it may fall among "thorns" (critical attitudes). These result in spiritual poverty.

But when this same seed has been sown into "good soil" (the inner being of one who maintains a quality prayer life and is spiritually hungry and obedient to His will), it will yield an abundant spiritual harvest.

In northern climates, we experience an early Fall. At the first sign of frost, we pick the green tomatoes from our gardens and place them on a window sill where the sun can shine on them. Here, they will gradually ripen and turn bright red. However, if some partially mature corn is placed on the same window sill, it will only dry out and become hard. This thirty-fold corn will not become sixty, or one-hundred fold corn.

So it is in the life of a Christian. Many Christians have the mistaken idea that they will be changed "on the way up." They imagine that they will depart from this earth realm as a babe in Christ and arrive in heaven as a matured saint. But once our life has been lifted from the "soil" of His dealings, no further maturing is possible. It is too late, for like the ear of corn, no further change will take place.

Spiritually speaking, we are not tomatoes. Rather, we are as these ears of corn. Our spiritual development must come while our "roots" are in the ground of our present environment.

There is a limited time for the completion of this process of maturing spiritually. Just as the ear of corn must come to maturity during the growing season while its roots are within the soil, so there must be a proper response to the workings of the Lord within us during our life time. Then, that which we have become will continue to unfold and expand throughout the eternal ages.

"To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with Me
in My Throne, even as I also overcame, and am set
down with My Father in His Throne" Rev 3:21.

Jesus qualified for His place in the Throne with His Father by overcoming the hindrances in His path.

"Though He were a Son, yet learned He obedience by
the things which He suffered, and being made perfect,
He became the author of eternal salvation unto all
them that obey Him" Heb 5:8-9.

Now He is able to say to us, "You are to overcome in the same way, as I overcame."

In using the terms of their vocation to speak to Simon and Andrew, there was the danger that they would not hear as Jesus intended. He did not say to them, "Follow me and fish for men." Rather, Jesus used terms that they understood to speak to them about a process that would qualify them for a higher vocation.

"Come ye after me, and I will make you TO BECOME
fishers of men" Mark 1:17b.

We must "come" (our attitude and desire) to the "place" (good ground) where He will be able to bring about the changes within us that will qualify us to fish for men, rather than for fish.

"For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus
unto good works, which God hath before ordained that
we should walk IN them" Eph 2:10.

The "good ground" is soil that has been "turned" by the Divine plow. This plow overturns our own ways and exposes all that would hinder our spiritual growth.

The seed that fell into the "wayside soil" avoided the furrow in which He works. Our natural reaction is to step aside when we see this divinely appointed plow coming toward us. The dilemma we face as this plow digs into the furrow of our lives is that it will turn every thing upside down, exposing the problems and hurts that we had carefully buried deep within us.

If we are willing to humble ourselves, die to our pride, and let others see us as we really are, the Lord will change us at the very root of our being. Then the unhindered seed of the Kingdom will be able to grow into full maturity and bring forth an abundant harvest; thirty, sixty, or one-hundred fold.

Our new nature, grown to full maturity and ready to enter a cooperative relationship with Him, is the "product" that the Lord desires to harvest out of the "good soil" into which we have been sown.

"Come, my beloved, let us go forth into the field;
let us lodge in the villages. Let us get up early
to the vineyards; let us see if the vine flourish,
whether the tender grape appear, and the pomegranates
bud forth: there will I give thee my loves" SS 7:11-12.

In anticipation of biting into a fully formed golden ear of corn, should I find it had only come to a thirty-fold completion in its development, I would be truly disappointed.
So also, the Lord greatly desires to bring us to full maturity in Him. Then, in that day, when we are lifted out of our present "covering," we will be found by Him to be a fully formed, one-hundred fold representation of the Lord Jesus Christ.